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Favourites remain unbeaten after day two

By Brad Morgan , in Water Sports | News , at 2023-12-10 Tags: ,

The three favourites for the 2023 Schools Water Polo South Africa u19 Boys’ title remained unbeaten after Sunday’s action in Gqeberha, although Western Province A, many’s pick to claim the crown, were given a good workout by Buffalo City in the last match of the day, eventually pulling away to an 18-9 win.

Province, in Pool B, also swamped a dispirited Nelson Mandela Bay 21-3 earlier in the day as the home team ran afoul of the officials. Ethan de Klerck had the hot hand, striking four times in both matches, while Ben Reiback recorded hat-tricks in both.

Meanwhile, in Pool A, Central Gauteng A continued on their serene way, downing KwaZulu-Natal B 18-2 before hanging a 26-1 defeat on Zimbabwe, who had the satisfaction of receiving the loudest cheers of the day when they scored their lone goal towards the end of their clash with the boys from Johannesburg.

Anton Arwidi had his shooting sights locked in, netting four times in both games, while Tristan Grimett scored just one less goal, and Leonardo Perreira struck six times.

KwaZulu-Natal A encountered some early resistance from the Northern Tigers, but the KZN side’s skill and superior fitness told the deeper the contest progressed. It was tough sledding in the beginning, but by the latter stages of the game, the goal-scoring appeared to be pretty simple. Mitchell Slade scored four, while Warwick FieldMax Scully and Meyer Malherbe all lit up the scoreboard three times each.

Central Gauteng A have not faced a difficult challenge over the course of the first two days of the Schools Water Polo South Africa u19 Boys’ Tournament, but they will be tested by KwaZulu-Natal A on day three.

Later, KZN A faced the KZN B side. Matches between familiar opponents can sometimes be a tricky fair, as was evident in Western Province A’s 11-6 win over Western Province B, but KZN A enjoyed a routine victory over their provincial brothers, with Meyer Malherbe scoring four times, and Jedd Poovan and Warwick Field tallying three goals each.

Reflecting on the game, KZN A coach Jason Sileno said: “They’re a good B side, and they have a lot of threats and a lot of very useful players…but, if you’re consistent in what you do, and your execution is good, hopefully, the selection process warrants the result.”

What those wins meant was that the contest that most had cast an eye towards when the action started on Saturday, the last pool game between Central Gauteng A and KwaZulu-Natal A, would be, as most had expected, to decide who would finish first in Pool A.

The showdown happens at 12:05 on Monday, and while the common results of the two combatants favour Central Gauteng A, there’s really nothing to be read into that.

“They’ve probably put more goals on the opponents,” Sileno commented. “Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes that’s not. It really comes down to the day and the moment, and the small moments.

“For tomorrow, I’ve said to the guys we’re on the right track… But we’re going to need an extra 10 to 15 percent. It’s the small things that count, from a technical standpoint, and maybe some decision-making. If we get those pieces right, we give ourselves a chance.”

What has stood out about the three favourites has been their ability to quickly pressurise their opponents with an aggressive press. It will be the team that better deals with that pressure that emerges victorious. Central Gauteng A, especially, have been very effective at pressing hard, turning over possession and then counterattacking very directly and at pace. They’ve scored plenty of goals in that manner.

“It’s going to come down to the press,” Sileno said, before adding, “but there will be some more tactical and technical aspects to it.”

KZN A will be hoping to have Matthew Hayes back in the water. The left-hander was out of action on Sunday, feeling ill, so he was rested and put on some medication. If he’s fit, he will go, if not he will rest up further. Certainly, KZN would like to have him back out there. He brings something different to the attack, playing wide on the right and using the left hand, and he’s also a nuggetty defender.

One thing is certain, the atmosphere around the pool at Grey High will be buzzing when the two big rivals meet on Monday.

Although they went down to KwaZulu-Natal A, the Northern Tigers took a step forward on day two. They looked like a better team and the results backed up that observation.

Day two brought the Northern Tigers better performances and two wins.

Alexander Kelbrick shone for the Tigers, striking twice against KZN A before planting six past Zimbabwe in a 12-9 win for the South African side. He added three more goals in a 14-goal victory over Eastern Gauteng.

Buffalo City brought a lot to their clash with Western Province A and, despite the nine-goal loss, enhanced their reputation. Unfortunately for the boys from East London, they also went down to Western Province B, although it was by only a single goal, 8-9. Reece Miles scored three in both matches.

Their neighbours, Nelson Mandela Bay, after losing their coach and a player to red cards against Western Province A, appeared somewhat rudderless without their coach in their second game against Central Gauteng B. The home side was not at their best and Central Gauteng B was up for the contest. The result was a deserved 10-6 win for the Gautengers.

In their first outing, however, Central Gauteng B was well beaten by Western Province B, who claimed an 11-1 win.

Western Province B were emphatic winners over Central Gauteng B.

Zimbabwe played three games, beginning with an 18-9 win over Eastern Gauteng. They lost by three to the Northern Tigers, but were then crushed by 25 goals in their last outing against Western Province A.

Eastern Gauteng remained winless after also falling 5-19 to the Northern Tigers.


KwaZulu-Natal A 17-5 Northern Tigers

KwaZulu-Natal A – Mitchell Slade (4), Warwick Field (3), Meyer Malherbe (3), Max Scully (3), Rhys Hall (1), Stef Swart (1), Oliver Ditz (1), Matthew Hayes (1)
Northern Tigers – Alexander Kelbrick (2), Benjamin Melville (1), Jack Toich (1), Joshua Verster (1)

Central Gauteng B 1-11 Western Province B

Central Gauteng B – Ross Stuart (1)
Western Province B – Sebastiaan White (2), Mac Lecuona (2), Ross Stewart (2), Juan-Paul Germishuys (1), Bradley Warneke (1), Salahuddin Khan (1), Thomas Truter (1), Paul Enthoven

Zimbabwe 18-9 Eastern Gauteng

Zimbabwe – Garrick Duff (4), Luke Hobbs (3), Samuel Edwards (3), Michael Chaniwa (2), John Whaley (1), Sonny Brebner (1), Ethan Ferguson (1), Mika Detering (1) Codie Selman (1), Joshua Covill (1)
Eastern Gauteng – Robert Carr (3), Jonathan Viljoen (2), Billy Tindall (1), Simphiwe Fede (1), Andro Mladina (1), Cole Taylor (1)

KwaZulu-Natal B 2-18 Central Gauteng A

KwaZulu-Natal B – Marnu Koekemoer (1), Kyron de Kock (1)
Central Gauteng A – Anton Arwidi (4), Samuel Lister (3), Tristan Grimett (3), Tanner Kleynhans (2), Leonardo Perreira (2), Nicholas Pearce (1), Marc Smith (1), Greg Pryce (1), Caleb van Loggerenberg (1)

Western Province A 21-3 Nelson Mandela Bay

Western Province A – Ethan de Klerk (4), Ben Reiback (3), Arkin Marais (3), Noah Bigara (3), Thomas Wiltshire (2), Adam October (2), Zack Cicero (2), Maximillian Mossop (2), Nicholas Fall (1), Conor Melling-Williams (1)
Nelson Mandela Bay – Samuel Marston (1), Jon Hobson (1), Tawfiq Akomolafe (1)

Zimbabwe 9-12 Northern Tigers

Zimbabwe – Garrick Duff (3) Ethan Ferguson (2), Mika Detering (1), Codie Selman (1), Joshua Covill (1), John Whaley (1)
Northern Tigers – Alexander Kelbrick (6), Benjamin Melville (2), Kade Berry (1), Milan Bedeker (1), Julian Olivier (1), Stephen Adams (1)

Western Province B 9-8 Buffalo City

Western Province B – Mac Lecuona (3), Thomas Truter (2), Ziggy Reimer (1), Ross Stewart (1), Cosmo Enthoven (1), Paul Enthoven (1)
Buffalo City – Reece Miles (3), Philip Wagner (3), Charles Caswell (2)

KwaZulu-Natal A 14-3 KwaZulu-Natal B

KwaZulu-Natal A – Meyer Malherbe (4), Jedd Poovan (3), Warwick Field (3), Stef Swart (2), Max Scully (1), Oliver Ditz (1)
KwaZulu-Natal B – Luca Di Vincenzo (2), Marnu Koekemoer (1)

Central Gauteng B 10-6 Nelson Mandela Bay

Central Gauteng B – Jack Wilkins (3), Ross Stuart (2), Dylan Botha (2), Samuel Ferreira (1), Mark Hudson (1), Braedon Hollingworth (1)
Nelson Mandela Bay – Salmaan Abrahams (1), Nicholas Franklin (1), Samuel Marston (1), Luke Lightening (1), Luke Mallett (1), Tawfiq Akomolafe (1)

Northern Tigers 19-5 Eastern Gauteng

Northern Tigers – Kade Berry (3), Joshua Verster (3), Alexander Kelbrick (3), Jacobus van der Merwe (3), Benjamin Melville (2), Gerrit Wessels (1), Jack Toich (1), Julian Olivier (1), Kamva Kenqu (1), Stephen Adams (1)
Eastern Gauteng – Robert Carr (2), Gabriel Cazzavillan (2), Cole Taylor (1)

Zimbabwe 1-26 Central Gauteng

Zimbabwe – Garrick Duff
Central Gauteng – Leonardo Perreira (4), Nicholas Pearce (4), Anton Arwidi (4), Tristan Grimett (4), Caleb van Loggerenberg (3), Marc Smith (2), Greg Pryce (2), Karabo Mamaregane (1), Connor Flinn (1), Samuel Lister (1)

Western Province A 18-9 Buffalo City

Western Province A – Ethan de Klerck (4), Ben Reiback (3), Richard Skeeles (2), Johannes Reyneke (2), Zack Cicero (2), Conor Melling-Williams (2), Maximilian Mossop (1), Noah Bigara (1), Thomas Wiltshire (1)
Buffalo City – Matt Johnson (3), Reece Miles (3), Philip Wagner (1), Sean Audie (1), Charles Caswell (1)

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.